Although iPhones aren’t as exposed to malware as Android devices, you can’t ignore cybersecurity best practices. If you own one, you probably know how secure the operating system is. Because Apple doesn’t allow multiple OEMs to use iOS, the system is not as fragmented as Android. It also receives reliable updates that patch security flaws. That doesn’t mean these devices are immune to vulnerabilities.
How Vulnerable Is The iPhone?
The iPhone 11 shipped with confirmed security exploit that could potentially allow unauthorized access to the contact list. A threat report in mid-2019 revealed that malware developers were focusing more of their efforts on iOS despite its advanced security features. Given how valuable iPhone user data is, hackers will continue looking for new exploits. Apple works round the clock to keep its ecosystem safe, but the following tips will help you improve data security:
1. Use A Random PIN
Most of us use numbers we can easily remember as our iPhone PIN. Although it’s convenient, it also makes it easy for unauthorized users to guess and access your data. Avoid using your phone number, birth date, ID number, and other easy-to-guess alternatives.
If you own more than one iPhone, don’t use the same passwords across your accounts. If a malicious user uncovers one, it could compromise all your devices and the data they hold. The password manager in iOS 12 and later iterations has a useful auditing feature. It evaluates your passwords and tells you whether you have any duplicates.
2. Be Careful About the Apps You Install
Although Apple products have a secure app store, the platform is facing increasing threats. Bad actors are utilizing fake apps that look and act like legitimate ones. Once you download and install them, they can mine confidential information such as your credit card number, passwords, and your contact list. They can also trick you into downloading malware. To avoid such scams, ensure you always visit an organization’s official website. Most of them have a link to their legitimate app.
3. Implement Manual Security Configurations
You can manually configure features that have notable cybersecurity implications. They include preventing location data from appearing in photos and limiting the permissions you give to apps. Consider setting the phone to wipe after a certain number of wrong password attempts.
You can also employ two-factor authentication to make it harder for unauthorized access. You’re more likely to keep your iPhone secure if you learn more about cybersecurity from certified professionals. These courses teach you how to identify and avoid phishing attacks as well as other suspicious activities.
4. Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi Networks
If your iPhone automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network, it increases its vulnerability. Rogue access points allow cybercriminals to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks. It’s advisable to disable the auto-join feature for open networks. This precautionary measure prevents hackers from using a common SSID to make unauthorized access to your data.
Juice-jacking is another worrying trend to avoid. Some public USB charging outlets may conceal hacking devices that either install malware or copy your data. Using a USB data blocker is an affordable but effective preventive measure.
5. Don’t Use Jailbroken iPhones
We strongly urge you not to jailbreak your Apple products. Other than going against the company’s terms and conditions, it opens your device to a host of cybersecurity threats. One of them involves sideloading apps from sources other than the app store.
Apart from failing to conform to the required level of security, they may also act as Trojans. The malware they install can remotely extract your usernames, credit card details, passwords, and other sensitive data.
6. Wipe Your Device Before Selling
Whether you’re selling an older iPhone model or gifting it to a friend or family member, you must take security precautions. If you don’t remove it from your Apple account, it will keep syncing without your knowledge. This advice also applies to paired devices such as the Apple Watch. After backing up your data, sign out of your account, then navigate to the settings app to erase all content under the reset function.
7. Install Updates Promptly
Take your system notifications seriously, especially if they’re about OS or app updates. The more you delay, the higher the likelihood of exposure to cybersecurity threats. The latest software version also happens to be the most secure, so it only makes sense to install it as soon as you can. Regular security patches mean the system is responding to evolving vulnerabilities. Most of these updates only require a few minutes to download and install.
These tips are a combination of cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions and user precautions. Before installing any apps or features that may compromise data security, make a habit of reading their online reviews. Other valuable measures include using fewer apps, removing suspicious configuration profiles, and implementing biometric authentication. A privacy screen protector prevents curious eyes from reading information on your device in public. If you follow this advice, your iPhone will be highly immune to vulnerabilities.